No jab, no job? Will vaccination be mandatory for care workers?
The Government has repeatedly confirmed that it is committed to supporting the vital work of colleagues in adult social care. It has been recently reported that Healthcare Secretary, Matt Hancock is considering implementing legislation which would legally require care workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19. A final decision is yet to be made.
The reason for such legislation is to protect vulnerable residents; the majority of whom have now been vaccinated. There is precedent in the healthcare sector which requires health care workers who are exposed to blood or body fluids to be vaccinated against hepatitis B.
Matt Hancock stated on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, “there are important moral questions on both sides, there would be a change in the law required, so this is something that we are considering…and we do want to hear from care homes and indeed care home staff on this question.” He has also previously indicated that he has been under pressure from care homes to make the vaccination mandatory for health care workers.
There are divided views within the sector on whether the vaccination should be mandatory. The Independent Care Group has confirmed that it is against the mandatory vaccination as this may deter people from joining the sector. Whilst other care home groups have indicated that it will require all new staff to be vaccinated unless there are acceptable exemptions.
It will be interesting to see whether the mandatory vaccination legislation will be implemented.
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